Its once again time to dive into the ranks of the unpaid, the underappreciated and undervalued volunteers of EVE Online.
This time we’ll be visiting talking to the head of the Mercury Team; those be the ones that produce content for the Evelopedia, the written fiction and partake in player events!
They graciously donate their spare time to make yours more enjoyable.
Read on about the content creator known as ISD Galen
So, basically we know that Mercury (M) extracted from the wiki contributed with the region descriptions, storylines, item descriptions and a slew of other stuff that you see on a daily basis without really paying attention to it. They create the thin red line that patches everything nicely together also known as the “lolimmershon” (if you really want to stretch it).
Without further ado, here’s the interview with ISD Galen:
Vince: What ISD name do you usually go by?
ISD Galen: ISD Galen
Vince: For how long have you been on the EVE Lore team?
ISD Galen: Ever since its inception. I have salvaged the core team it was started with from the remnants of AURORA
Vince: Have you been part of other ISD programs before you joined team Mercury?
ISD Galen: I started in AURORA in November 2003 and in the end became its VA, first in a team with Nebulai, then alone.
Vince: We’re aware that the voluntary programs require you to each donate some of your own free time. In our interview with the other voluntary teams they mentioned on average 3-4 hours a week while the The STAR team had a slightly different requirement. Is this also the case with the Mercury team or do you have another minimum requirement to work with, if any?
ISD Galen: There´s no set amount of hours required in Mercury. All i ask of my people is to do the job the initially volunteered for and act like the mature people they claimed to be when i recruited them.
Vince: Are you aware of any volunteers that use an exceptional amount of hours in comparison to the minimum requirement? Anyone that goes beyond their “call of duty”?
ISD Galen: CKang. He´s an amazing example of a human writing machine with creativity, genius, dedication and general awesomeness. With 10 people like him we could write the history of a fictional country and make it so detailed that no one would ever doubt its existance.
Vince: We’ve previously asked the other team leads what the “special” perks are. I guess you all get a pointy ship at this point. How do you feel about working with your team mates though, enriched?
ISD Galen: The real perk of MERCURY is the access to so much creativity. We´re a small team but quite diverse and through that makes for a very interesting atmosphere and a tight knit group. It´s a real honor to work with these people.
Vince: Outside of being a regular player – what does a regular day of Storytelling involve? Have you been involved in the recent Incarna Expansion, “EVE is Real” or any recent Sansha events?
ISD Galen: Our main body of work is to be found in the evelopedia. It´s a huge repository of knowledge that we´re very proud of by now and will continue on that way.
Vince: The wiki entry about team Mercury mentions a need for excellent writers that can pay attention to the EVE Lore. How do you ensure that you guys have those qualifications? Do you need to go through a test of some sort prior to being accepted into the team?
ISD Galen: Damn right there´s a test. Apart from excellent writing i am looking for creativity. For that certain something you can´t put your finger on. I´m looking for people with humor, grounded, intelligent, dedicated and mature. It´s not an easy combination to find. So far i found about a dozen.
Vince: The other teams (YARR/STAR/ECAID) has a need to know about the gameplay mechanics of EVE, but they do so with a general sense and with specific specialist support when required. That doesn’t seem to be the the case with the Mercury team though. Do you still have areas of expertise though, or does the position require you to have a broad allround knowledge or do you – as the other teams do – work on your own areas of expertise?
ISD Galen: There´s always special areas of interest for people and they have more knowledge in those areas than in others but in general i prefer the broad approach. In some instances i have to even insist on it if someone wants to write only gallente for example.
Vince: How do you decide what stories to work on?
ISD Galen: We work very closely with CCP and what´s being worked on is a result of what they need us to do and what the individual writers choose.
Vince: Do you roleplay, or have you ever roleplayed – and if so, have you noticed that it has given you a better base for doing what you do as a volunteer?
ISD Galen: I have roleplayed quite a bit when i was AURORA and at that time it was the very essence of what i was doing as a vol. It is immensely enjoyable and probably the best way to not only play EVE but feel it.
Vince: Have you found that the skillset required to maintain your volunteer status in EVE in some form has carried over into real life? Anything you’ve been able to use at home or at work?
ISD Galen: I think skillsets carry over in both directions: I´m a socialworker in one life and a VA in the other. Hardly a day goes by when i don’t need a skill from one life for the other.
Vince: What are you currently training?
ISD Galen: I have to admit that my player account is pretty much dormant. I have no idea what i´m training, only that it´s a lvl 5 skill because i ran out of other levels to train a long long time ago.
Vince: As a player, what would you say has been the most rewarding experience in EVE Online for you?
ISD Galen: I have a cousin who constantly pestered me and asked for stuff from me when he started playing EVE a few years ago. So i lured him in a M0o camp and had him podded. That was a very rewarding experience indeed!
Vince: We’ve all at some point experienced something awesome in EVE Online. Do you have any interesting stories that you would like to share? (that isn’t fiction!)
ISD Galen: I remember stresstests from Beta 2 or 3 when (then) GM Abraxas told us how happy he was about the 125 people online at the same time. I remember stealing the Polaris frigate Major Gormur had left sitting on the test server, panicking, ejecting and trying to catch up with it when i realized it kept on flying towards a sun. Flying one of the first Apocs on TQ and having people orbit me. Robbing a corp blind. Receiving 3 Gyrostabilizers V in beta as loot and putting them on my Thorax. Running events with a 20 people pirate Battleship fleet and killing hundreds. Having a character in Beta that looked EXACTLY like Al Bundy.
There´s tons of stories.. I feel old now.
Vince: Some topics of interest on the forums seems to be the positive emotions that Crucible has created, FiS vs WiS and the the relationship between Dust514 and EVE. While some of the topics are still somewhat contentious I would imagine for example WiS would appeal to story writers. What are your thoughts on these topics, personally?
ISD Galen: I can see some interesting stories there. But i really think that there was never any limit to what we could create or write. There´s game mechanics, PC and Playstation distinction… And none of that has any impact whatsoever on our imagination. Whatever we can think of in the EVE universe can become canon. If we write it (and CCP approves it)
We’d like to thank ISD Galen for (once more) volunteering to inform us about the day-to-day tasks of a volunteer.
Flashy Skies! o7